Eileen Myles writes about being fictionalized for “Transparent”


In the second season of Transparent, out actress Cherry Jones plays a character based on legendary lesbian poet Eileen Myles. At Wifey, Eileen writes about the experience of watching Cherry recreate her for the television series, in a piece called “Copy, Copy.”

Here’s an excerpt that details Eileen’s time on set during an episode where the setting was a womyn’s music festival much like Mich Fest:

There were rows of benches in front of the stage. I kept trying to get myself in the right position. Where would I sit. I mean being me, watching what I was about to watch which was Cherry reading, being a version of myself. I was thinking they would of course be needing to shoot that. We rehearsed a bunch. This crowd of dyke extras of which I was one. We were there to hear Cherry Jones do her scene again and again. She was reading my poem. As hers. I had thought about this a lot. Just as Cherry Jones can play a poet Leslie Mackinaw based somewhat on an actual poet, Eileen Myles, so can a poem, this one called “School of Fish” be pawned off as a poem written someone else, the fictional poet Leslie Mackinaw. Like the poem like the actor can also have a job, go to work. The poem, made up, now just like something else made up like a teevee show can even earn a living. I felt parental. It was like the poem was my kid. I was pushing her out. No she was already at a party. She was invited. She was honored. The poem was working a lot more than I was sitting there in my tits in a cowboy hat in the afternoon.

Check out the clip she’s referencing in the video below, and if you haven’t yet, watch Transparent on Amazon now.

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